Canvas is a text-based interviewing platform founded by people dissatisfied with the traditional hiring process. In line with the current generation’s preferred communication style, the startup uses text messages to screen and recruit millennials for jobs. Because text-based interviewing provides a variety of pros and cons, only time will tell whether it remains a choice method of getting to know job candidates.
Advantages of Text-Based Interviews
Text-based interviews may offer multiple advantages. For instance, millennials already are hyperconnected and use text messages to increase efficiency and convenience in communication. Using Canvas’s software lets recruiters store screening questions, along with benefits information and other key documents, to send candidates. Because an immediate response is unnecessary, texting can be done when it is most convenient for either party, allowing time to think about and respond to questions and answers over time. Also, a text-based interview reduces bias and increases fairness due to not seeing the candidate in person. Additionally, the lack of distractions allows the interviewer to be more focused on the candidate’s answers. Further, a text interview screens for which candidates should be offered a more in-depth, face-to-face interview. Plus, a conversation can end more quickly if the candidate does not appear to be a good fit for the role. And, a text-based interview provides a permanent record to share with managers who did not participate in the interview.
Disadvantages of Text-Based Interviews
Text-based interviews have many disadvantages. For instance, Canvas launched in June 2017 and has not been around long enough to determine its effectiveness and future adoption by industries. Also, candidates may be unsure of social rules surrounding text messaging during an interview, such as whether to use a period or emoji, and how to respond if the candidate does not get the job, which may lead to additional interview stress.
Responding to Text-Based Interviews
Certain guidelines should be followed when responding to text-based interviews. For instance, even if you prefer to connect with the interviewer over the phone, respond to the text message to avoid self-selecting out of the interview process. Keep in mind that if you are asked for personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, or Social Security number, do not respond because it may be a scam. Also, keep your answers professional. The interviewer wants to determine whether your writing skills are where they need to be for the position. Avoid slang and other informal language, including emojis. Additionally, if you cannot stay within 140 characters, ask the interviewer if you can email them during regular business hours. Further, use spell check to correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
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